What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein found in our bodies. It can be found in our skin, bones, muscles, skin, tendons, blood vessels, hair and nails. As we get older our our bodies ability to produce collagen declines. Prolonged exposure to UV light, a diet high in sugar, autoimmune disorders and smoking also slows down production. This is why it can be beneficial to use supplementation to include more of it in our diets.
Benefits of collagen
Studies have shown including more collagen in our diet can reduce the symptoms of certain types of arthritis and improve our joint health. Some research shows it’s ability to make skin healthier or show benefits for hair and nails but there is still lots of research to be done. Collagen is great for gut health though and can be beneficial if you suffer from leaky gut syndrome. Including collagen means you’re also increasing your protein intake!
Foods to boost your collagen
- bone broth
- wild fish like salmon and tuna
- dark leafy greens
- red vegetables (tomatoes, beets, peppers)
- orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers)
How to include collagen in your diet
Powdered collagen is super easy to incorporate into your diet, it’s basically tasteless too which is super convenient. Some people say it’s tasteless but I disagree. Add it to water and you’ll see what I mean, there is a taste and I personally can’t drink like that. Some ways I include collagen into my day are:
- a scoop or two in a smoothie
- mix it into yogurt
- mix it into soup
- mix it into oatmeal (I add it in while cooking)
- bake with it
Things to know
- There are 16 different kinds of collagen. The most common are: Type I, Type II, Type III
- Different types will have different benefits. I recommend doing your own research to find what is important to you.
- These kind of supplements are not regulated by the FDA.
- Different brands make their collagen using different types of animals/bones/fish/etc. so they are not vegan friendly.
- collagen on it’s own is not a complete protein so while you can incorporate it, I wouldn’t rely heavily on it to get sufficient protein
- consistency with taking it is key in seeing if you can feel a difference. Most people have to take it consistently for a month or longer to see and feel results.
I recommend doing your own research before choosing a brand you trust. I personally use Vital Proteins.
Dr. Axe has a more in depth write up about some of the benefits. You can read it here.